S. Africa: Part 2a Wine Country Stellenbosch

Our second day in the vineyards. This time we were in the more well known area, Stellenbosch. Thankfully we kept our act together on the first day, because things were certainly kicked up a notch with our guide for the day, Willem (pronounced Vill-em).

First stop, Simonseg. We started with bubbles for the morning as it is a bit odd having wine at 10 a.m. On the other hand, its 5 o'clock somewhere, right?



 This is a cork tree. Pretty neat

I have always loved these champagne holders
I took a peak inside where the wine is made

Matt sitting with Willem. The morning started out cold, so we had a fire going in the fireplace. Several bottles were purchased from this vineyard, and did I mention it was first thing in the morning? I knew we were going to be in trouble.

Next on our list, Hartenberg. Another gorgeous estate.

This place was big into the organic farming. They used a spray made from lavender as a pesticide as well as having it planted throughout the vineyard

A baby vine

Loved all the flowers they had here throughout our stay

A quick shot with our hostess at the vineyard. She was so lovely

Kanonkop was recommended by two of our friends from SA, but it didn't make the top of our list. Slightly higher priced than others, but then it turns out the HK distributor is next to my new office. Small world. And if you know where my new office is, you know how odd this is.

I couldn't help but think "Biggie size me"

Time for lunch at Glen Carlou, which is technically in the Paarl wine district.This is a vineyard owned by the Hess family. We recognized quite a few of their wines. The lunch was amazing. We loved all the food in the Cape, but this was some of the best food of the trip

Amazing views

Easy living


Matt was extra good about letting me take pictures of him on this trip. Have I finally broken him down to my family's standard of taking a million photos at any and every event?

We popped by Warwick for literally 5 minutes. We knew the wine from purchasing it in NYC on occasion, but we were not overly impressed. It felt touristy compared to the others, so after a quick taste, we were out of there.

There is this whole story of  the wedding cup. It dates from 14th century and the story we were told was that a love struck goldsmith first made the chalice in an attempt to win the hand of a beautiful woman named Kunigund. The challenge to win her hand was to be able to drink wine from the same wine cup at the same time.

The wedding cup has become the logo of Warwick and a symbol of love, faithfulness and good luck. As newly weds, of course we were cheesey and took the wedding cup challenge


We did it with no spillage thank you very much

Now this place was something special. We got to do this whole tour of this underground, secret grounds. Again, this was all due to our amazing guide Willem who seemed to be "in" with just about everyone

We didn't waste any time and started exploring this secret area upon arrival

After going through the storage area, we are lead further into this underground system of hallways

All of this lead to this knights of the round table thing. Without our guide, no way would we have been able to do random stuff like this.

Do we look important?

I think we did a good job of taking pictures with all the ladies who poured for us at the vineyards. We purchased a dessert wine here that was amazing.

I am not really sure what Matt is doing here, but let's go with it

Our last stop of the day was old and charming

The farm itself dates back to 1685 when it was granted by Governor Simon van der Stel who was Governor of the Cape of Good Hope at the time, making it one of the oldest estates in South Africa

I really felt like we were in an old hidden cellar  

All these cobwebs added to the atmosphere. Part of it reminded me of McSorley's in NYC



A final photo with our guide Willem

Walking out to the car, more beautiful foliage

And just as I think the day is coming to an end, we spot a donkey

You know it is time for the wine tour to wrap up, i.e. you've had too much wine, when taking photos with a donkey sounds like the best idea you have had all day. We took a stupid amount of pictures of this donkey. This is just a small sample

He was pretty cute though, you have to admit

 And that pretty much sums up the day
At the end of our 2 days of touring, we had accumulated 20 bottles of wine (oops, how did that happen- I blame Matt). It wasn't cheap to ship back, so we used these special boxes lined with styrofoam (available at most of the local wine shops) and checked them on the plane. No tax in Hong Kong for anything under 40 Proof (which all wine is). Highly recommend vs. expensive shipping.  All the boxes arrived intact for under $90USD.
Looking for a wine guide for your S. African Wine Tour? We highly recommend Tsiba Tsiba Tours. Our guide Willem owns it with his wife.They are seriously amazing and they really made our trip the experience it was. Don't just take our word for it. Check out their reviews on Trip Advisor too. And never drink and drive, but you knew that already.
Tsiba Tsiba Tours
Telephone: +27 (0) 82 956 8104
Email: info@tsibatsiba.co.za

Tsiba Tsiba means Jump Jump in Isi-Xhosa, the most widely spoken African language in the Western Cape. I felt like we literally jumped from vineyard to vineyard for 2 days. It was awesome! Thanks Matt for organizing an incredible time!


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